612-644-9781 info@crossfitslipstream.com

12 Gift Ideas

Wondering what to get the CrossFitter or soon-to-be CrossFitter in your life?  Not to worry!  Here are 12 gift ideas!

1. Rogue Jump Rope

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2. Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett

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3. CrossFit Slipstream Sweatshirt $65

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4. Mobility Toys

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5. CrossFit Slipstream Towel $7.99

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6. CrossFit Socks

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7. CrossFit Slipstream WOD Log $15

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8. CrossFit Slipstream TShirt $25

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9. CrossFit Slipstream Tank $20

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10. CrossFit Shoes

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11. Inside the Box

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12. CrossFit Slipstream Gift Certificate – The Perfect Stocking Stuffer!

Special – Purchase $100 Gift Certificate, get $20 Gift Certificate Free for you through Dec 23rd, 2017.  $100 Gift Certificate redeemable by new members only.

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All CrossFit Slipstream items may be purchased in store, or email us at info@crossfitslipstream.com.

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Slipstream Holiday Survival Guide

While the holiday season is often associated with joy and peace, we’re all aware of that  it can be a difficult few weeks to focus on your health. With all the parties, treats, traveling, and stress of planning and shopping, it’s no wonder most of us are eager to set health related goals by the time January 1 rolls around. Adding in exercise and clean eating these next few weeks can seem like a little too much for anyone, but by finding a balance we can ensure we don’t slide too far off-track in regards to our health goals while still enjoying the most wonderful time of the year.


FOOD

From pie to chocolates to egg nog and everything in between, it’s pretty hard to go anywhere this time of year without encountering something sweet, which is why our diet is often the first thing that goes out the window during the holidays. However, there are ways we can avoid at least a few of the extra pounds we tend to pack on in December, and these ways don’t have to involve saying no all the time. In fact, when we approach eating with the right mindset, it’s still possible to enjoy the season its food without having to feel guilty.

Related: 3 Key Elements of a Successful Nutrition Plan

The first thing we can do is plan ahead, in both the big and little picture. Luckily, it’s still early enough in the month to make progress before the craziness near the end of the month hits. For now, don’t keep treats in the house. If they’re there, you’ll eat them, even if you know you’ll eat plenty of dessert the next weekend. Speaking of all those holiday parties you have coming up, another way we can plan ahead is to never go to a party hungry. If we’re starving when we head to the party, chances are we’ll overeat. Since the options at the party usually aren’t the healthiest, eating beforehand and then having a small meal at the party is the best bet that we won’t overindulge. Another small tip, eat slow and put down your fork between bites, the longer it takes to eat the less likely you’ll be to go back for seconds.


TRAVEL

Whether it’s to a family member’s house that’s a 30 minute drive away or a four hour flight, most of us will be traveling in some capacity this holiday season. And most of these trips involve at least one thing that can get us in a bit of trouble when it comes to our health; sitting. Besides preventing us from burning off those extra holiday calories that we’ve inevitably consumed, prolonged sitting is detrimental to our health for many reasons. One way we can combat these effects during travel is by walking around the airport while waiting to board instead of sitting. You know you’ll be sitting for the entire flight, so why sit beforehand too? If road-tripping, try your best to sit with proper posture (core engaged, shoulders up, back, and down) and keep some movement in the lower body, like fidgeting, to keep blood flowing. Regardless, we’re going to have to be sitting for a while, so at least make the most of this time by listening to your favorite health-related podcast. That way, you’ll be motivated to get moving once your travels are over.

Related: What is Sitting Really Doing to Me?

The other way travel can seriously stunt health efforts is by taking us out of typical fitness routine. However, a week out of town doesn’t have to mean an entire week off. Bring along any small mobility tools you own like a lacrosse ball, or stretch when you can to take steps towards improved mobility and flexibility. If you do have access to a hotel gym, get creative! Combine 3 or 4 dumbbell and/or bodyweight movements and perform them as a circuit. And remember that wherever you are, chances are there’s a CrossFit box near you that you could drop-in to. This can be a great way to expose yourself to the larger CrossFit community we’re all a part of, or just take a needed break from family.


By following just one or a few of these tips, hopefully we’ll all be able to continue on our journey towards bettering ourselves throughout the holiday season and set ourselves up for even more success in the next year. But overall, my biggest piece of advice in this time of year is to not be too hard on yourself. You don’t have to say no to enjoying this time of year to stay healthy. Progress still occurs when we’re consistent week in and week out and indulge every once in a while – the key here is to keep it as every once in a while. Find your balance and remember that many of the things that the holidays are about – mainly, time with loved ones – are much more important than what the scale says. So if a couple days don’t go as planned, don’t beat yourself up about it too much, just show up ready to work once the holidays pass.

Related: What “Better Than Yesterday” Means to Me

 –Jay Alexander

Coach/Trainer

jay@crossfitslipstream.com

DECEMBER MEMBER HIGHLIGHT – MEET TAMMY!

Tammy has been a member at CrossFit Slipstream since we opened nearly 4 years ago!  She’s always smiling and happy.  We love having her as part of our community!  Read what Tammy has to say about CrossFit below:

1.Why did you decide to try CrossFit?

I have always enjoyed working out at gym and trying to be in good physical condition but I became bored with the same old routines and work out methods – I have competed in body building competitions and was hooked on lifting weights. I saw CrossFit games on TV and thought it looked fun and challenging, at the time I was not aware of any CrossFit boxes near me so I dd not pursue it.  I met coach John at a business fair and we got to talking.  He mentioned the first class was free and the box was near me so I decided to try it out.  That was almost 4 years ago and I am still enjoying CrossFit.  As for weight lifting, CrossFit is now my style, I absolutely love the barbells! so much better than dumbbells 🙂

2. How has having a coach changed your workout or fitness results?

It is great to go to a gym and know the workout is planned I don’t have to do a thing but show up and put my best foot forward.  The coaches know my strengths and weaknesses and will give me that encouragement to go a little further, a little further, and we can both laugh when I do something I said I couldn’t do whether it is to lift a certain weight, get through a cardio session or get the form proper for a certain move, etc.  John stresses the importance of all around health and fitness, that it is the things we do outside the gym/box that count as much as the actual workout, from the food we eat to the way we breath. CrossFit Slipstream has many resources for all around health, i.e.. nutrition courses, running clinics, incorporating breathing work before a workout, and yoga to cool down.  All of the coaches at CrossFit Slipstream take the time to listen to any issues I may be having with health and we scale my workout to what is possible that day, where I normally would say ahh I just can’t workout today I now go knowing anything I can accomplish in the gym is better than nothing and it is usually more than I thought I could.

3. How has CrossFit affected your life/health?

I am healthier because CrossFit incorporates weightlifting with cardio.  I have always been bored with cardio at the gym so I would avoid it but now I get my cardio mixed in with my weightlifting during a session at the gym/box and it is fun. I have met wonderful people that inspire me and are so much fun to work out with.

4. What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

If all you know of CrossFit is the games you see on TV and think that is not for you, think again.  The workouts are scaled to what you wish to accomplish for your health and happiness, from losing weight to building strength and gaining muscle.  Do not be intimidated, everyone is so accepting of wherever you are at in your journey and so encouraging.  If you get down on yourself at times for not accomplishing as much in the workout as you wanted to, the members remind you how great it is that you are doing what you can that day and you have no one to compete with but yourself. You also have days when you are on top of it all and get to be the one to inspire others to do their best. 

Shoulder Prehab 101

It’s no secret that our shoulders bear a heavy burden when it comes to the work we do in CrossFit. From pressing weights overhead, to hanging from a pull-up bar, and every movement in between, our shoulder joints never get much of a break. Add to this the fact that most of us live our lives with less than ideal posture – thanks sitting – and it’s no surprise that nagging shoulder injuries are among the most common seen among CrossFitters.

Related: What is Sitting Really Doing to Me?

If you’ve ever experienced lingering shoulder pain, or even a more severe shoulder issue, you know how debilitating it can be, since it’s hard to force ourselves to not use a shoulder in our daily life. Luckily, there are things we can do to “bulletproof” our shoulders, and prevent irritating shoulder pain from keeping us on the sidelines. When it comes to injury prevention, there are a couple terms we have to get comfortable with first. Mobility is a joint’s maximal ability to move through a full range of motion, pain free. Stability, on the other hand, is how well we can control movements through that range of motion. The 4 exercises we’ll look at today focus mainly on shoulder stability, and creating strong joints that are better suited to handle our day-to-day both in and outside of the gym.

Luckily, there are things we can do to “bulletproof” our shoulders, and prevent irritating shoulder pain from keeping us on the sidelines.

Related: How can ROM make you fitter?

1.) BAND PULL APART’S ON FOAM ROLLER

For this exercise, start by lying on a foam roller that’s long enough for both your hips and head to be resting on the roller, while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Hold a blue or red band directly over your chest, with hands starting shoulder width distance apart and palms facing towards your feet. There should be a small amount of tension in the band at the start, but not too much. Then, keep your elbows locked out as you spread your arms out to a T, making sure the band is contacting the chest right at the sternum. Pause for 2 seconds, then slowly return back to the starting position to complete the rep. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps each.

2.) BANDED PVC ROWS

The setup for this exercise starts by looping a blue or red band around the rig at shoulder height. Place a PVC through the other end of the band, and grab the PVC with hands at shoulder width. Take a few steps back from the rig until there is slight tension in the band with your arms outstretched, and bring a slight bend to the knees. Pull the PVC directly to the sternum, pause there for 2 seconds, then slowly return back to the starting position. Make sure to pull the PVC all the way to your chest, instead of leaning forward with the chest to make contact. Perform 2 sets of 10 reps with palms facing up, and 2 sets of 10 reps with palms facing down.

3.) BANDED PVC PULLDOWNS

This exercise utilizes the same setup as the previous one, with the band looped around the rig and a PVC through the band. Lay down on your back with your head closer to the rig while grabbing the PVC overhead, keeping the knees bent to plug the soles of the feet into the ground. Engage your abs and lift head and shoulders off the ground. Keep your elbows locked out and pull down on the PVC until it contacts your thighs. Pause for 2 seconds, and return arms slowly back overhead. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

4.) DUMBBELL OVERHEAD CARRIES

This is most likely my favorite shoulder stability exercise, as it forces us to stabilize the midline simultaneously as the shoulder. A strong midline is essential for proper movement mechanics in anything we do in CrossFit, and therefore will help with injury prevention across the board. The concept for this exercise is simple, lock one moderate weight dumbbell out overhead and walk. Pay close attention to form here however, by keeping the core tight and bicep close to the ear, without shrugging up the shoulder. The dumbbell should find a “slot” where it is much more comfortable to carry, since it is stacked directly over the shoulder. Continue to keep the elbow locked out, walk a set distance, switch hands, and walk back to your starting point. Perform 3 sets, resting between as needed.

These exercises will help bring more stability and control to all of the movements the shoulder is involved in, but we must not forget the importance of our mobility exercises as well. Our shoulder can only be as stable as it is mobile, since we must first have the ability to get into good position, and then learn to control that position.

Related: 4 Simple Shoulder Mobility Movements

Perform these prehab exercises once or twice a week when you have time before or after workout, and you’ll be well on your path to more injury resistant and pain-free shoulders. Feel free to do two or three of these exercises in a superset, and remember to move slow and controlled, these aren’t for time!

–Jay Alexander

Coach/Trainer

jay@crossfitslipstream.com

What is Sitting Really Doing to Me?

If you’ve been paying attention to health in the news over the last few years, you’ve probably seen a headline or two with something along the lines of “Sitting is the New Smoking”. While this is very clearly an attention-grabbing headline, most of the articles and stories still leave room for questions, with the main one being, “Why is sitting really that bad for me?” How can it be that something so intertwined to nearly everything we do in today’s society can be killing us? We grow up sitting in school, then we grow up and sit at our jobs, while we eat, when we’re at a movie or show, and when we drive to and from all these places. It truly is impressive how much we as a human population sit nowadays. And it’s not just an adult problem anymore, a recent study found that teens are now just as sedentary as 60 year olds. In the past few years, study after study have found correlations between higher amounts of time spent sitting and obesity, type II diabetes, and many other chronic, preventable diseases.

We probably all had a relative that told us to “Sit up straight!” and “Stop slouching!” at the dinner table, but clearly we’re now finding out that sitting does more than just promote bad posture and musculoskeletal issues like tight hips and low back pain. But the scariest part for those of us who consider ourselves active? Exercise does not offset the problems that sitting causes, so let’s take a deeper look at why one of the things you’re probably doing at this moment is so bad for you, and how we can go about mitigating the risks of one of our laziest habits.

Related: 4 Simple Moves to Improve Your Low Back

Since you might already have heard about how bad sitting is for you, I’ll make this a quick rundown of everything that’s happening when you take a seat. Let’s start from the top, your brain. A sedentary body means less blood flow to everywhere, including the brain. Therefore, it starts to lack the nutrients, namely oxygen, that it needs to function properly and quickly, so it becomes increasingly hard to focus and think critically the longer we sit. The brain, along with a couple other organs, control hormone levels in the body, and these become severely imbalanced while we’re sitting. In particular, insulin production increases significantly because sedentary cells don’t respond to insulin well, so more of it has to be produced. Here lies the link to type II diabetes. Moving on to the lungs. Even when we sit with good posture, the ribcage is compressed, restricting full lung function and breathing. In our cardiovascular system, we see lower levels of high-density lipoproteins (the good cholesterol) that are needed to fight off deadly cardiovascular diseases. And finally, the gut is also compressed while we sit, inhibiting proper digestion and providing a reason for the higher incidence of colon cancer among those that sit excessively.

Related: Continuing Education: Benefits of Learning New Skills

That’s a lot of bad consequences, but despite all of this there is hope, because not all sitting is created equally. In one study, one group of people sat while slouching and the other sat with proper posture (spine in neutral position, abs engaged, etc.), and both were exposed to stress-inducing questionnaire tasks. After the task, the good posture group had higher self-esteem levels, that was determined to be caused by increased physiological arousal and more energy. On the other hand, the slouching group had a higher susceptibility to stress.

“We probably all had a relative that told us to “Sit up straight!” and “Stop slouching!” at the dinner table, but clearly we’re now finding out that sitting does more than just promote bad posture and musculoskeletal issues like tight hips and low back pain.”

But besides sitting with proper posture for shorter stints of time – which heads up, will take a while to become natural – how else can we avoid the detriments of sitting without significantly changing our lifestyle? A couple simple ways to improve our habits include setting a timer to make sure you get up and move at least once every hour, or using a small water glass instead of the 72 ounce water bottles you see everywhere nowadays so that you have to get up and refill it more often.  Also, try to fidget, roll your shoulders, or keep any other small movements going while you sit to trick your body into thinking it’s not being stationary. In light of the recent understanding of what sitting is doing to our bodies, standing and adjustable desks have been increasing in popularity over the last couple years. See if your office provides them, or invest in one for yourself so that you can keep getting work done without giving sitting the chance to attack. Notice that none of my suggestions involved quitting your desk job or getting rid of all the chairs in your house. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we’re not going to change society’s sitting problem overnight, but we should still try to help ourselves in the ways we can. Through small changes like these, along with continuing to exercise at moderate to high intensities, the goal is that we’ll be able to keep our body’s functioning properly now and well into the future.

Related: Why CrossFit?

–Jay Alexander

Coach/Trainer

jay@crossfitslipstream.com

NOVEMBER MONTHLY HIGHLIGHT – MEET JUAN!

Juan has been a member at CrossFit Slipstream for over a year!  He’s always smiling no matter how hard the workout is.   Juan has been challenging himself to do more and more in the gym so that he can be prepared to do a CrossFit competition.  Read what Juan has to say about CrossFit below:

1.Why did you decide to try CrossFit?

About 2 years ago, I rented a paint shop across the street from CrossFit Slipstream. I drove past the gym every day and saw the crossfitters running down the street for their workouts. I was curious and decided to give it a try.

2. How has having a coach changed your workout or fitness results?

I would never push myself this hard without a coach guiding me. Having prescribed workouts has helped me in every aspect of my fitness. I know the proper form for each lift and movement which is so important for being able to increase my weights and reps safely. I feel challenged and supported every time I come in for a workout.

3. How has CrossFit affected your life/health?

The main physical difference is that I have gained more muscle overall. I have been able to maintain my increased fitness and body composition by attending workout regularly. I notice that I feel happy and in a better mood overall when I commit to two or three workouts a week. I feel good, like I have accomplished something in commitment to my health and well-being. I love the feeling I get after finishing a really intense workout.

4. What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Just come and try it. The coaches are so supportive. We all started as the new guy, so we all understand what it is like to be learning the movements. Make a commitment to your health and make the workouts a priority for a few times a week. With consistency, you will start seeing results and improvements in your fitness.

Continuing Education: Benefits of Learning New Skills

Whether you’ve been doing CrossFit for two months or two years, you know that the first few months involve a vast amount of learning every time you walk into the gym. Between remembering the names of the movements and learning how to move your body in ways you probably never have before, it can be a bit overwhelming. But what happens after those first couple months of being schooled in CrossFit? Are we done learning and now just putting things into different combinations and trying to do them faster and heavier? Well, no, and it’s important that we don’t get stuck in this rut of thinking we’ve learned everything we need to when it comes to CrossFit. Learning new skills not only opens up new movements to incorporate into workouts, but the benefits go far beyond this, and even go far beyond the gym. Today we’ll explore how the process of continual learning benefit the brain, mind, and body, and make us more fit, even if it feels like we’re failing.

Long gone are the days when we thought that the brain was fully developed by our mid-twenties and could never change or grow after that. We call how the brain continues to change throughout our entire life “neuroplasticity,” and it’s an extremely relevant but often overlooked when it comes to exercise. We know that continuing to challenge the brain with things like puzzles keeps the brain functioning properly as we age. We also know that exercise physically benefits the brain, by increasing its blood flow and capillary density. CrossFit stands at a unique intersection of these two facts, by challenging both brain and body through the learning of new motor skills.

Related: Why Motor Control Makes You Stronger

To get a deeper look at what’s really going on when we learn new skills, let’s get in our heads for bit. The brain is made up of two different types of matter, grey and white. Grey matter contains the neurons or “brain cells”, while white matter consists of myelinated axons, or the branches of the brain cells that communicate with each other. Research has shown that performing new skills increases the volume of grey matter in the motor cortex of our brain, effectively increasing the number of brain cells we have, while performing skills that we have routinely done in the past doesn’t have this benefit. We have also seen that white matter integrity is improved through exercise, which means that our nervous system is able to  communicate more quickly. These findings mean that learning new exercises on a regular basis can keep us moving longer and keep our brain firing quickly longer, essentially acting as an anti-aging pill for the brain. Could it get any better? The answer is yes, because these benefits are seen at any age, so it doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 75, it’s never too late to learn new skills.

“These findings mean that learning new exercises on a regular basis can keep us moving longer and keep our brain firing quickly longer, essentially acting as an anti-aging pill for the brain.”

But if these benefits seem too good to pass up, why isn’t everyone doing this? Probably because it can be frustrating to learn new skills. We feel like we’re failing and that we’ll never learn it, so we settle for doing things we already know how to do. However, a slower rate of learning results in a greater neuroplastic change, meaning that the harder the skill and longer it takes to learn, the more benefit you get. To get past this holdup, we have to learn to drop our ego when we approach a new skill, and know that it will pay off in the long run.

Related: Simple Guide to Meditation

If you do find yourself stuck in a place where you haven’t learned a new skill in a while, I encourage you to take a different mindset when looking at future workouts, and instead of avoiding that one day that has a move that scares you or you’re still working on, make it a point to come that day. Get outside of your comfort zone and be okay with failing every once in a while. Feel free to make this one workout a week be a little lower intensity to allow you to slow down and really think about the way you’re moving. It might be frustrating in the moment when we can’t quite do something the way we want to, but a year or two or ten down the road, you’ll look back and be grateful that you put yourself in that difficult position of learning. Not only will you surprise yourself and be able to do cool new things, but you can take comfort in knowing that your brain will be better off in the long run too.

Related: What “Better Than Yesterday” Means to Me

–Jay Alexander

Coach/Trainer

jay@crossfitslipstream.com

Flipping the Script: “Have to” vs. “Get to”

Chances are you probably spend quite a bit of time around at least one person who seems like they constantly have something to complain about. If you do know that person, you likely also know that it’s not very much fun to spend time with them. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad friend for silently admitting this, it only means you’re human, because negative thoughts don’t make us happier, plain and simple. And even though we can all agree on this, nearly all of us still find ourselves grumbling about one thing or another every once in a while. Not only do we bring those around us down when we do this, but we also dig ourselves into a deeper hole of dissatisfaction. So how can we kick this habit to the curb once and for all? Well, I won’t claim to know the answer to that question altogether, but today we will explore one simple habit we can use to flip our perspective and cut out complaining. Disclaimer: I also don’t have the answer for how to get rid of your chronic complainer friend.

Related: Is This You? “Running Sucks!”

Based on the title, you may have already guessed that the tool we’ll be talking about today is moving from a place of “have to”, to one of “get to”. In a literal sense, this means paying attention when we’re talking to ourselves or others and when you’re about to say “I have to ____”, say “I get to___” instead, even if that sentence is finished with work late, do 100 burpees, or anything else you dread.

“When we start to frame our lives around the idea that we “get to” do everything we’re doing, we’re practicing gratitude for our situation and taking control of our own happiness.”

The science behind this tool lies in positive psychology. This simple change in vocabulary turns obligations into moments of gratitude, because the more you catch yourself doing this, you start to realize that you truly do “get to” do everything in your life. Take laundry for example. You might despise all the loads of laundry that seem to be constantly piling up, but catching yourself and deciding to say out loud “I get to do laundry” might just make you realize that this is a blessing in disguise. You have an entire closet full of clothes, which is much more than many people can say, so yeah, you do “get to” do laundry as a result.

I don’t want you to think I’m trying to make you feel bad for every minor complaint you have in your life, because your feelings are valid. But I do think we could all (myself included) do a better job of seeing the positive side of many of the things we consider to be burdens. Even doing this for the things we have a hard time seeing any positive side to – like traffic for me – and “faking it till you make it”, will start to cultivate a more positive mindset. This is extremely beneficial, because our perspective in life is consistent through many situations. If we allow the thoughts of “I’ll be happier if/when…” to creep in at any point, we set ourselves up for the mentality that we’re not happy right now, and that something outside of our control is keeping us from being happy.

Related: How do I Create Lasting Change In My Life?

 A study at the University of California, Riverside found that the percentage of our capacity for happiness that is within our control is 40%. Woah, let’s digest that a bit. This means that 60% of our capacity to be happy lies in our situation, and the other 40% in how we think about our situation and the things we do to make the most of it. But I’d argue that our situation is more within our control than out of it, which would push that needle even farther up from 40%. No one is forcing you to do anything, you’ve made countless choices up to this point in your life that have lead you to where you are now. Therefore, when we start to frame our lives around the idea that we “get to” do everything we’re doing, we’re practicing gratitude for our situation and taking control of our own happiness.

Related: What “Better Than Yesterday” Means to Me

Many studies have found that focusing even a little bit on gratitude leads to a greater sense of happiness, fewer health complaints, more time spent exercising, and many other positive side effects. And one of the simplest ways we can practice gratitude is to swap  “get to” for “have to”.

Quick word of warning though: this isn’t a quick process. I first heard about this philosophy about three years ago, and am still working on it to this day. But I can tell you that, like most things that require consistent effort, it is worth it. Every time I catch myself and decide to flip the script, a sense of peace and comfort washes over me, and I look forward to the day when I will always have that feeling. Go ahead, give it a try. Start simple; you get to go to work tomorrow because you have a job, you get to make dinner because you have plenty of food, you get to do a tough workout and get stronger. See? It’s working already.

–Jay Alexander

Coach/Trainer

jay@crossfitslipstream.com

What “Better Than Yesterday” Means to Me

Back when I was in high school, I remember thinking that standardized tests would either be my ticket to the big leagues or lead to my catastrophic downfall. While that may have just been the dramatic teenage hormones talking, this mindset did lead me to have my first encounter with serious goal setting. Four months before my first test, I wrote my goal score on a sticky note, hung it above my desk, and sat down to make a calendar of what I would do every day leading up to the test.

“It means that every day that we put in the work, we’re getting closer to reaching our goals, regardless of whether or not we felt better on that particular day.”

Over the course of those next few months I took countless practice tests, learned more strategies than I could use, and flipped through stacks of vocabulary flashcards. Most days after school, practices, and homework, the last thing I wanted to do was study, but I made sure to at least do something small every day that would get me closer to that daunting number hanging above my desk. When it came to test day, despite my nerves, I did even better than that goal I had set four months earlier.

Related: Start With Why

While tests in high school turned out to be much less significant in life than I thought they would be, the process I went through to reach my goals taught me some pretty critical lessons that have stuck with me far longer than any of those vocab words I memorized. Most of what this situation taught me was that the big goals we reach in life don’t happen in big steps. Instead, we realize those goals through tiny, incremental steps that slowly add up to the important stuff. This holds true across the board in nearly every aspect of self-improvement that we can think of; school, fitness, work, relationships, even things like cooking.

“Progress doesn’t come easy, but it will come if we commit to steady improvement.”

Related: 3 Reasons to Log Your Workouts

The hard part with this though, is that it means we don’t get to “see” progress happening since it comes in such small steps. Instead, we have to learn to trust the process, believing wholeheartedly that the work we’re putting in will pay off down the road. This is what “Better Than Yesterday” means to me. This one simple quote reminds me to spend even just a little bit of time each day working on improving myself. It means that every day that we put in the work, we’re getting closer to reaching our goals, regardless of whether or not we felt better on that particular day. Not every day will be a good day. So many things in life are out of our control, and we all feel too busy to make progress sometimes. But with this mindset, we don’t have to hit major milestones every day. In fact, those days that feel hard but we still put in the work are invaluable at teaching us to endure. Progress doesn’t come easy, but it will come if we commit to steady improvement.

Related: 3 Key Elements of a Successful Nutrition Plan

Every time I look above the whiteboard and see those words now, I’m reminded to trust the process, and that if I put my head down and work, I am on my way to becoming the best version of myself, whether I see it or not. But whatever the quote means to you, let it serve as a reminder that every day, both in the gym and out, we should seek to take a step forward and not backward. Let’s go be better than yesterday.

–Jay Alexander

Coach/Trainer

jay@crossfitslipstream.com

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